Long-Term Investing Truths Key lessons for retirement savers. Provided by: Nate Lewis You learn lessons as you invest in pursuit of long-run goals. Some of these lessons are conveyed and reinforced when you begin saving for retirement, and others, you glean along the way.     First and foremost, you learn to shut out much of the “noise.” News outlets take the temperature of global markets five days a week (and on the weekends), and economic indicators change weekly or monthly. The longer you invest, the more you learn that breaking news can create market volatility. While the day trader sells

The Investment Risk You May Not Know About What can you do to allay this risk? Provided by: Nate Lewis Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks – interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification.1 As an investor, you face another, less-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet, it may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability

Could Assumptions Harm Your Retirement Strategy? Three common misconceptions to think about. Provided by: Nate Lewis 1 – Assuming retirement will last 10-15 years. When Social Security was created in the 1930s, the average American could anticipate living to age 58 as a man or 62 as a woman. By 2017, life expectancy for the average American had increased to 78.6. That said, this average may bely the fact that many retirees could live well into their nineties or beyond.1,2 Assuming you will only need 10- or 15-years’ worth of retirement money could be a big mistake. 2 – Assuming

Have You Budgeted for Retirement? Creating a strategy for success. Provided by: Nate Lewis Run the numbers. There is a rule of thumb for retirees suggesting that retirement income has a target of 70-80% of the household’s end salary, though this can certainly vary. So, years before leaving work, sit down (perhaps with the financial professional you know and trust) and take a look at your household’s monthly expenses.1 The closer your household gets to retirement, the more exact you will want to be about your income needs. You first want to look for changing expenses: housing costs that might

Midlife Money Errors If you are between 40 & 60, beware of these financial blunders & assumptions. Provided by: Nate Lewis Mistakes happen, even for people who have some life experience under their belt. That said, your retirement strategy is one area of life where you want to avoid having some fundamental misconceptions. These errors and suppositions are worth examining, as you do not want to succumb to them. See if you notice any of these behaviors or assumptions creeping into your financial life.    Do you think you need to invest with more risk? If you are behind on

Social Security by the Numbers Facts about the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. Provided By: Paul Lewis, CFP®,CWS® Social Security has been a pillar of retirement life for several decades, but how much do you really know about it? Here are some facts that might surprise you: The Social Security trust fund exceeds the gross domestic product of every major economy in the world, except the nine largest: China, the European Union, the United States, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil.1 For 61% of retirees, Social Security is a major source of income.1 Benefits are subject

Is America Prepared to Retire? A look at some ways to get ready. Provided By: Nate Lewis Are Americans saving enough? Only 19% of U.S. adults describe themselves as “very confident” when asked about their savings. Worry spots include retiring without enough money saved (16%) and anxiety about having a “rainy day” emergency fund (14%). These findings come from the 2018 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. (The survey collected data from 2,017 U.S. adults.)1 Only 41% of us keep a regular budget. If you are one of those roughly two-out-of-five Americans, you’re on

Your Year-End Financial Checklist Seven aspects of your financial life to review as the year draws to a close. The end of a year makes us think about last-minute things we need to address and good habits we want to start keeping. To that end, here are seven aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next.. Your investments. Review your approach to investing and make sure it suits your objectives. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation.    Your retirement planning strategy. Does it seem as practical as it did

A Retirement Fact Sheet Some specifics about the “second act.” Does your vision of retirement align with the facts? Here are some noteworthy financial and lifestyle facts about life after 50 that might surprise you. Up to 85% of a retiree’s Social Security income can be taxed. Some retirees are taken aback when they discover this. In addition to the Internal Revenue Service, 13 states levy taxes on some or all Social Security retirement benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. (It is worth mentioning that the I.R.S.

Social Security Gets Its Biggest Boost in Years Seniors will see their retirement benefits increase by an average of 2.8% in 2019. Social Security will soon give seniors their largest “raise” since 2012. In view of inflation, the Social Security Administration has authorized a 2.8% increase for retirement benefits in 2019.1 This is especially welcome, as annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, have been irregular in recent years. There were no COLAs at all in 2010, 2011, and 2016, and the 2017 COLA was 0.3%. This marks the second year in a row in which the COLA has been

The IRA and the 401(k) Comparing their features, merits, and demerits. Taxes are deferred on money held within IRAs and 401(k)s. That opens the door for tax-free compounding of those invested dollars – a major plus for any retirement saver.1    IRAs and 401(k)s also offer you another big tax break. It varies depending on whether the account is traditional or Roth in nature. When you have a traditional IRA or 401(k), your account contributions are tax deductible, but when you eventually withdraw the money for retirement, it will be taxed as regular income. When you have a Roth IRA

Discover the 403(b) This retirement plan allows teachers & employees of non-profits to invest for their futures.  Does your spouse contribute to a 401(k)? You are probably eligible for a retirement plan that can help you save and invest for retirement in the same way – a 403(b). 403(b) plans actually predate 401(k)s. They first appeared in the 1950s. School districts and non-profit organizations commonly offer these retirement savings vehicles to their employees.1  Contributions to most 403(b)s are 100% tax deductible. Typically, you just defer a small percentage of your salary into these plans per paycheck, prior to taxes being

Getting Your Personal Finances in Shape for 2019 Fall is a good time to assess where you stand and where you could be. You need not wait for 2019 to plan improvements to your finances. You can begin now. The last few months of 2018 give you a prime time to examine critical areas of your budget, your credit, and your investments. You could work on your emergency fund (or your rainy day fund). To clarify, an emergency fund is the money you store in reserve for unforeseen financial disruptions; a rainy day fund is money saved for costs you

5 Retirement Concerns Too Often Overlooked Baby boomers entering their “second acts” should think about these matters. Retirement is undeniably a major life and financial transition. Even so, baby boomers can run the risk of growing nonchalant about some of the financial challenges that retirement poses, for not all are immediately obvious. In looking forward to their “second acts,” boomers may overlook a few matters that a thorough retirement strategy needs to address. RMDs. The Internal Revenue Service directs seniors to withdraw money from qualified retirement accounts after age 70½. This class of accounts includes traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement

Underappreciated Options for Building Retirement Savings Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn More people ought to know about them.  There are a number of well-known retirement savings vehicles, used by millions. Are there other, relatively obscure retirement savings accounts worthy of attention? Are there prospective benefits for retirement savers that remain under the radar? The answer to both questions is yes. Consider these potential routes toward greater retirement savings.      Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). People enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) commonly open HSAs for their stated purpose: to create a pool of money that can be applied to health care expenses.

Starting a Roth IRA for a Child or Grandchild This early financial decision could prove profoudly positive over time. Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Email Do you have a child or grandchild earning some income? Indirectly, that after-school or summer job might present a savings opportunity for that teenager. You could help your child or grandchild save for future goals by assisting them to create and fund a Roth IRA. So many people wish they had begun saving for retirement sooner. Imagine how your child or grandchild’s prospects for building lifetime retirement savings might improve by starting as soon as possible.      Here

Are Changes Ahead for Retirement Accounts? A bill now in congress proposes to alter some longstanding rules. Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Email Most Americans are not saving enough for retirement, despite ongoing encouragement to do so (and recurring warnings about what may happen if they do not). This year, lawmakers are also addressing this problem, with a bill proposing big changes to IRAs and workplace retirement plans.    The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch, would amend the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in some significant ways.1      Contributions to

The Snowball Effect Save and invest, year after year, to put the full power of compounding on your side. Facebook Google+ Twitter LinkedIn Email Have you been saving for retirement for a decade or more? In the foreseeable future, something terrific is likely to happen with your IRA or your workplace retirement plan account. At some point, its yearly earnings should begin to exceed your yearly contributions. Just when could this happen? The timing depends on several factors, and the biggest factor may simply be consistency – your ability to keep steadily investing and saving. The potential for this phenomenon

Take these financial lessons to heart. You have a chance to manage your money better than previous generations have. Some crucial financial steps may help you do just that.     Live below your means and refrain from living on margin. How much do you save per month? Generations ago, Americans routinely saved 10% or more of what they made, either depositing those savings or investing them. This kind of thriftiness is still found elsewhere in the world. Today, the average euro area household saves more than 12% of its earnings, and the current personal savings rate in Mexico is 20.6%.1

The notion that we separate from work in our sixties may have to go. An executive transitions into a consulting role at age 62 and stops working altogether at 65; then, he becomes a buyer for a church network at 69. A corporate IT professional decides to conclude her career at age 58; she serves as a city council member in her sixties, then opens an art studio at 70. Are these people retired? Not by the old definition of the word. Our definition of “retirement” is changing. Retirement is now a time of activity and opportunity.    Generations ago,